Photo: Samuel Woods Luitwieler Civil War Soldier and his Diary Account
Samuel Woods Luitwieler (1847-1931) born in New York son of Jacob Gerardus Luitwieler and Matilda Sarah Woods of Ireland. He married Sophia Charlotte Maurer. Photo Courtesy of descendant Denise Bartholome of California.
Co I 1st NY Vet Cavalry dispatch ranger for Gen Phil Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley 1864.
The News July 18, 1924 Vet Who Fought Here In Union Army Gives Excerpts Entered In His Diary Samuel W. Luitwieler, Baltimore, Describes Skirmishes And fine Food Furnished By Frederick People Samuel W. Luitwieler of Baltimore, is in Frederick for the purpose of tracing the old Civil War battlefields, and particularly locations in the vicinity of Braddock Heights, where he was stationed as a member of the Union army. Mr. Luitwieler was in this city in 1864 when he was a lad of between 17 and I8 years when the Union and Confederate forces clashed here and there in the surrounding country. He recalls many of the local battles and particularly General Jubal Ear!y's raid upon Frederick. Mistaken for a lieutenant. Mr. Luitwieler was selected by his commanding officer to gather a number of men to meet a scouting party of Confederates who were sent out to locate the Union forces. The Confederates purposed to reach Frederick. Mr. Luitwieler said, and he was instructed to select his men and stop the enemy. The clash occurred in the vicinity of Braddock Heights, said Mr. Luitwieler, who added that big forces were successful. Mr. Luitwieler brought with him extracts he entered, in his diary when he was camping In the vicinity which are printed below and give many interesting sidelights on the local situation during the Civil War days. He was a member of the First New York Veterans Volunteer Cavalry, and is now president of the Luitwieler Cam Pump Company, of Baltimore. "July 7, 1864 The regiment was in camp at Leesbnrg. Virginia. At 5 o'clock orders came for the company to saddle up and go on a scout to find Early's advance. We passed outside of camp and found our picket at a house beside the road. We had proceeded about 300 yards, when ahead of us on the edge of the road, a Confederate battery of artillery was concealed in a piece of forest. Our first intimation was shell from a gun In the road ahead of us about a thousand feet distant Our captain" ordered the command to the right into a field facing the battery, which commenced shelling us". "One of the shells struck the ground 300 feet in advance of my horse and broke. One piece came in direct line to me. I laid down close to my horses neck thinking if (unreadable) the piece would hit me in the head. It passed directly over my head and hit Jim Clapper, in the shoulder breaking his collar bone. C'apt. Vanderboyet, realizing that it would be useless to keep the company in line for a target for the Rebel battery ordered the company fours about and fell back in the direction of the camp. "By this time the regiment was alarmed by the sound of artillery firing and by the time we reached the camp the whole regiment was in saddle awaiting our return. Skirmishing began and continued by our falling back In slow retreat throughout the day. The enemy force outnumbered us and we had no artillery. "We held them back by slow retreat fighting all the way towards | the Potomac river. We made a stand as darkness came on and went into camp about a mile south of the Potomac river. We were ordered to collect brush and make fires in lines representing company streets to deceive the rebels and make them think we had received big reinforcements. After getting breakfast orders came to saddle up and cross the Potomac river at a ford. On the north side of the river were some large tobacco warehouses we noticed in passing and a deep dugway up the bank After we had passed up through the dngway about a mile Capt. Vanderboget came to me and said. 'I want you and Ed Goodell to report back to the river as orderlies for General Stahl. We rode back as fast as possible, but when we got there we sa-w only sharp shooters engaged with the rebels on the opposite shore of the Potomac. Upon Inquiry we found General Stabl had not been seen there. So we again retraced our route up the dugway but at a much greater speed, for the rebel sharp shooters took us for officers, being mounted, and sent a shower of bullets after us. Fortunately none of them hit us and we escaped. "Going over the same road that we had come we failed to find our command; they bad gone to Harper's Ferry, on the left, while we followed the road directly ahead that led into Frederick. We followed the general practice of soldiers when in town of looking up something to eat that was better than hard tack and sow belly but we were not long in that pursuit for tbe provost marshal came up and said. 'Boys how many men can you find here? I have just had Information that Early's advance guard of scouts wonld be bere in 20 minutes. Ed Goodell spoke up and asked me "Luit.' how many men can we find here? Tne provost marshal takting me for a 'Lieutenant, Immediately said, 'Lieutenant, find out how many men you can get together and I will take you to the place when the avance guard will come in. I a boy of only 17 1/2 years of age been put in command of the men who were to keep Early's scouts out of Frederick and I only a private. "We chased over the city and found 12 other cavalrymen who were separated from their command. The marshal came to us again and said, I will take you up the road to where they will come in. Going through the town to its extreme limit in a field where young apple trees were planted, he opened a gate for us to pass in. In front of the field was a board fence to which we tied our 14 horses, I ordered two men to remain outside in charge of the horses, and took eleven men under me into the field and deployed them dismounted as a skirmish line of infantry, twenty feet apart strung across the field. Outside the fence was a row of large shade trees, which made such a dense shade that the horses could not be distinguished clearly. Our skirmishers advanced through the field nearly to the opposite side where the fall fence was standing parallel to the board fence in front. "Out of the hillside which was covered with young trees and brush, before us rode Early's advance scouts of thirty men, coming suddenly upon us. They were surprised to find us and looked on us with astonishment. Neither party fired a shot. Taking in the situation they figured it thus: Here is an infantry force of skirmishers supported by a reserve of Infantry and cavalry, they reasoned it would not be wise to engage in a general fight as a large force might be hidden among the trees. I ordered the men to fall back some, which the rebels took for a" trick to draw them on, so they fell back into the brush again and began firing at us. In the lot to the right of the young orchard was a wood lot with cords of wood piled up from the trees felled. I ordered my men to run for the piled cord wood to protect them from the shots of the scouts. During that afternoons skirmish we had only one man wounded. The marshal, when hearing us said. 'I will wire to Baltimore and bring down the reserves it will take two hours for them to come by train. When you hear the band playing and a great noise, you may fall back into town, there troops will relive you.' "About 5 o'clock we heard the noise and went back into the city. When we passed through a nice residential tract the ladies came out and with the girls served us as we sat on our horses in the street with cold chicken and meat, coffee and pie and cake, which, was the best feed we had in a year and a half After satisfying the inner man we went towards tbe railroad and camped for the night on a hill side. In the morning we were hungry again. Looking about I saw a railroad siding with a rough board freight house. Thinking perhaps there might be some eatables there, I rode down to see what I could find. Then I saw a comissary officer and told him I had 14 hungry men to feed detailed away from their command. We started at once to get out our rations. While doing so bullets began to spat through the inch boards of the house. Said the comissary, 'I did not come into the army to get killed. I came to dispense rations. So he put a padlock on the door and left me sitting on my horse. "The battle of Monocacy was on: the skirmishers were at work. Later on I saw the battle lines surging in charges and drives throughout the day from the vantage view on the hill side. Late in the afternoon the ambulances came by; the begining of a retreat had started. Many wounded men in the ambulances who had not had first aid and the roadway was being sprinkled from the wounds of the soldier's blood comming from the crackes in the floor of the ambulances. A little later came General Lew Wallace tearing down the roadway. "He stopped opposite where we were. "With sword waving overhead he tried to reform the men with cries of ''go back men, go back". It was a hot July 9th and our men had fought bravely all that long hot day opposed by a vastly superior force Early's command on its way to take Washington but failed. The battle at Monocacy had delayed Early 24 hours, during which time other forces from the south arrived and reinforced the Union Forces and defeated Early in his plan. "Ed Goodell and myself mounted our horses and rode all night arriving at Ellicott Mills early in the morning. July 10, when we joined our regiment again, and rode into Baltimore to protect the city from attack, returning again to the Shenandoah Valley, where we had been stationed for the most part of two years. Under Seigle, Hunter and Sheridan, during part of which time I was orderly carrying dispatches for General Phil Sheridan."